Tag Archives: #Telephoto lens

Slug-Set on the Connecticut River Bridge

Call this one Telephoto and Wideangle contrasts.

In October I called up to one of my favorite places and made these two views of the GATX slug-set that Pan Am Railways uses to work the East Deefield hump.

During the course of its duties the East Deerfield hump engine routinely pulls cuts of freight cars out onto the Connecticut River Bridge, which makes for ample opportunity to expose photographs.

Sometimes one view doesn’t give you the full picture.

I like the old bridge in this bucolic setting, and this also a great place to picture equipment. I’ve photographed dozens of trains here over years.

One view was exposed with my 12mm Zeiss Touit (wide angle) lens; the other with my Fujinon 90mm telephoto. The wideangle view takes in the scene; the telephoto photo focuses more tightly on the locomotive. By presenting both you get a more complete picture.


In this 12mm wide angle view, notice how the effect of soft sunlight on the bridge helps direct your eye to the locomotive.
On my FujiFilm XT1, the 90mm lens approximates the angle of view offered by a 135mm lens on a traditional full-frame 35mm film camera.

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Long Lens, Small Trains; Another Take on last weekend’s Railroad Hobby Show

I used my Lumix LX7 for my earlier post of photos at the Amherst Railway Society’s BIG Railroad Hobby Show (held last weekend at the Big E fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts).

Ah, my old Lumix. Yes indeed. But, I was also carrying a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera fitted with a ‘fast’ (wide aperture) 90mm lens.

Using a 90mm lens at f2  allowed me to make telephoto views with very shallow depth of field.

I think selective focus is a neat technique for capturing model railways. It’s a great tool for making portraits too.

Below is a selection of views exposed at last weekend’s show made with my fast 90mm.

Any favorites?

Lego my caboose!

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Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Revisited: Jersey Avenue—Then and Now.

It was a warm April afternoon in 1978 when my father and I arrived at Jersey Avenue to make photos.

For me this was a thrill. The long tangent in both directions seemed to reach to the horizon, and the trains passed at tremendous speed.

It was also one of my earliest experiences working with a long telephoto lens.

Pop had fitted his 200mm Leitz Telyt with Visoflex to my Leica 3A.

The Visoflex provided me with an equivalent to an SLR (single lens reflex) arrangement for a rangefinder camera by using a mirror with prism to see through the lens.

A New York-bound Metroliner races along the old Pennsylvania Railroad at Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey. I hadn’t figured out how to focus quickly yet.
My trailing view of the Metroliner was more successful.

Where I was well used to the peculiarities of Leica’s pre-war rangefinder arrangement, using the Visoflex offered a new set of challenges, especially in regards to focusing.

Jersey Avenue April 1978: there I am age 11. Photo by Richard J. Solomon
This southward Amtrak long distance train was led by one of Amtrak’s E60 electrics. I was disappointed as I’d hoped for a GG1.
Check out all the great old streamlined cars. At the time I was so concerned about making this image, I didn’t really appreciate the details of the train.

Fast forward to December 2016. Pat Yough and I were exploring locations on Amtrak’s North East Corridor. I suggested Jersey Avenue because I was curious to see if that was where Pop and I had made those photos so many years ago. (Back in 1978, my photo notes were a bit thin).

Indeed it was. So we made a few photos from approximately the same spot before investigating other locations. Compare my December 2016 views with my much earlier attempts.

Amtrak 93 races through Jersey Avenue in December 2016.
Trailing view of Amtrak 93 at Jersey Avenue.